Monday, July 15, 2024
Oxford SpeedwaySpires

REPORT: Spires go down at league leaders

OXS Oxford Spires suffered a 37-53 defeat at Ipswich’s Foxhall Stadium last night (Thursday) in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership.

Spires quickly fell eight points behind in the first three races, and the gap between the two sides increased to 12 points after seven heats.

But 16-year-old Ashton Boughen and Charles Wright pulled back a 5-1 in Heat 8. Spires closed the gap further when team manager Peter Schroeck placed Rohan Tungate into Heat 9 for a tactical substitute and he joined Chris Harris for a 5-1.

That closed the gap to just four points. However, Ipswich then rattled in five successive heat advantages and pulled away to a convincing victory.

On another baking hot day, passing was at a premium on the Foxhall Heath track. Despite that, Harris passed Dan Thompson on the final lap of Heat 6 to avoid a 5-1 to Ipswich, while Russian Rocket Emil Sayfutdinov scored a classy full maximum for Witches, including a switch of lines to overtake Tungate during Heat 13.

Tungate (13) and Harris (9+1) scored the bulk of Spires’ points and the plucky Tungate stole third placed on the line from Ipswich skipper Danny King in Heat 15.

Oxford team manager Peter Schroeck pulled no punches following the meeting.

He said: “Our performance was unacceptable, really. A couple of riders did really well, while we shouldn’t be relying on a 16-year-old. Ashton got stuck in and did his job. But we’ve also got some experienced riders and they should be able to cope with all types of conditions, but some of them just couldn’t find their feet tonight.

“At this time of the year, track preparation is not always ideal and you simply have to get on with it.

“We got ourselves back in the game with a couple of 5-1s, and everything was looking alright to get a decent result, but then we totally fell away. A lot of it was down to mental attitude.

“I need to be honest and say when I don’t think it’s good enough. I don’t like using the word, but tonight I was disappointed by our performance and I need to see a reaction in the home meetings against Sheffield and Ipswich next week.”

Spires take the forefront at Oxford Stadium next week with two meetings during the week.

They host Sheffield Tigers on Monday (July 1) and Ipswich Witches on Thursday (July 4) in what will be a crucial week for Spires’ play-off hopes in the ROWE Motor Oil Premiership.

Tickets for both meetings are already on sale at

Ipswich Witches 53: Scott Nicholls (guest) 11+1, Dan Thompson 7, Danny King 9, Adam Ellis 1, Emil Sayfutdinov 12, Keynan Rew 11+2, Jordan Jenkins 2+1.

OXS Oxford Spires 37: Rohan Tungate 13, Charles Wright 2+1, Lewis Kerr 1, Maciej Janowski 6, Chris Harris 9+1, Erik Riss 2, Ashton Boughen 4+1.

PHOTO: Maciej Janowski ahead of Ipswich’s Dan Thompson at Oxford (Image: Steve Edmunds)